The best time to take CBD: Dosing guide
With UK regulations set in 2018 clearing the way for CBD oil to be legally consumed, sales have been booming.
Physical and online retailers now stock various CBD products, including CBD oil tinctures, CBD capsules, CBD edibles, and CBD-infused topicals to potentially benefit several acute and chronic conditions.
Since research is still being conducted on CBD, and it is considered a food supplement in the UK, vendors and manufacturers are limited in the medical advice they can give about CBD. This makes it challenging to offer detailed insight into the ideal time to take CBD.
But, that doesn't mean that UK CBD consumers can’t learn more about how to get the most out of their CBD products. This guide will explain some key points on when is the best time to take CBD and share some expert tips on how to dose CBD oil products.
A brief guide to CBD
One of the most common cannabinoid compounds in Cannabis sativa (hemp) plants is CBD, also known as cannabidiol. Unlike its counterpart, THC, CBD does not make people feel "high", but anecdotal evidence and emerging science is crediting it with many potential medical benefits.
Research on the medical applications of CBD has exploded in recent years as public interest and acceptance have grown. This has led to a wave of new products being developed that may help with a wide range of conditions, including:
- Anxiety, depression, PTSD
- Chronic pain, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Crohn's Disease
- Schizophrenia symptoms
- Dopamine-related movement disorders such as Huntington's disease.
- Multiple sclerosis
It is widely believed (and supported by clinical studies) that CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system, a communication network of cannabinoid receptors that help regulate many of the body's functions, including immune response, pain regulation, mood stability, sleep cycle, and appetite.
CBD binds to ECS receptor CB2 located in the brain, central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, digestive system, and cells of the immune system to provide its purported benefits without triggering the psychoactive high associated with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CB1 receptors.
While CBD is one of two primary cannabinoids found in marijuana and hemp plants, it is one of hundreds of cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis plants. These other cannabinoids work in synergy with CBD to produce what is known as the "entourage effect" which is believed to amplify CBD's potential medical benefits.
By understanding what CBD is and how it affects the body, you can better understand the best time to take CBD and how to get the most out of your products.
How can CBD be taken?
Before understanding the best time to take CBD, it is essential to understand the different ways CBD can be ingested and absorbed. Each form of CBD has its own unique properties that can affect absorption, results, and onset. By understanding the different forms of CBD and their properties, you can optimize your CBD intake for the desired results.
CBD oil tincture
CBD oil is probably the most common form of CBD. It is typically sold in small glass bottles with a dropper for easy administration. CBD oil can be taken by itself or added to food and beverages. When taking CBD oil by mouth (sublingual), it is important to hold the oil under your tongue for at least one to two minutes before swallowing to ensure maximum absorption through the sublingual glands.
The benefits of CBD oil taken sublingually can kick in within 15 to 30 minutes and last two to four hours. Of course, this will vary depending on dosage, quality of product, and individual metabolism.
CBD capsules are an easy and discreet way to take CBD on the go. They provide a pre-measured dose of CBD oil that is easy to swallow and digest. In addition, capsules are considered to have high bioavailability, meaning they can be digested and absorbed into the body without any limited efficacy from other medications or foods.
Capsules typically take longer to absorb in the body than CBD oil drops because of their size and tendency to bypass digestion. Typically, it will take 60 to 90 minutes for capsules to kick in, and the effects may last up to 6 hours.
Capsules can be available in a couple of varieties, including soft gels, gel caps, and powders.
CBD gummies and edibles are versatile alternatives to CBD oil or capsules that can provide longer-lasting health benefits. Edibles come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, flavors, and textures, from CBD gummies to cookies to baked goods and drinks.
CBD edibles take the longest amount of time to take effect because they must be digested and metabolized by the body before the CBD can be absorbed. It can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours for edibles to take effect, with peak effects around 3 to 4 hours. The results of edibles can last for 6-8 hours, making them an excellent option for long-lasting pain relief.
CBD vape liquid
Vaporization of concentrated CBD oil provides one of the quickest ways to feel the effects of CBD. When CBD vape liquid is heated, it turns into a vapor that can be inhaled. This method of taking CBD allows it to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the lungs for maximum absorption.
The effects of CBD vape liquid can be felt within minutes and typically last for up to 1-2 hours. This makes it an excellent option for anyone who requires fast relief from acute anxiety or pain symptoms.
CBD topical creams, balms, & lotions
CBD creams, balms, and lotions provide all the benefits of CBD without taking it internally. They can be applied directly to areas of pain or inflammation for targeted relief.
Topicals are considered bioavailable because they are absorbed into the skin and can penetrate deep into muscle tissue, providing extensive relief. CBD topicals typically take effect within 15 to 20 minutes and can provide relief for up to 6 hours.
How to dose CBD
CBD dosage is key to getting the best results. The right dose of CBD can provide the desired effects, while too much or too little may cause unwanted side effects or fail to produce results at all.
To determine the ideal dosage of CBD, it is first important to understand your personal physiology and metabolism. Everyone has a unique biology that affects how they process cannabinoids like CBD. For example, some people have faster metabolisms, while others tend to be more sensitive to supplements in general. Therefore, if you are larger or have a slower metabolism, it may be necessary to take a higher dose and wait longer between uses than smaller individuals or those with faster metabolisms.
Generally, the best way to find your ideal dosage is to start with a small dose and increase gradually until you find the sweet spot that works best for you.
It is also important to factor in the concentration of CBD in the product you are using. A higher concentration of CBD means you will need less of it to achieve the desired effects. For example, a 1000mg CBD oil will be more potent than a 500mg CBD oil, so you would need to take less of the 1000mg oil to get the same effects.
A good starting point for first-time CBD users experimenting with CBD oils, capsules, and gummies is 10-20mg of CBD per day. This can be taken in one dose or divided into smaller amounts throughout the day.
For CBD vape liquids which users can dose multiple times per day, the concentration will ultimately determine the amount to use. A higher concentration of CBD vape liquid will provide more potent effects, requiring less use throughout the day, while a lower concentration will require more frequent dosing. A good rule of thumb is to start with 3-5 puffs from a CBD vape pen and increase as needed.
CBD topical creams, balms, and lotions can be applied directly to the skin as needed for targeted relief. Start with a small amount and increase gradually until desired relief is achieved.
You may need to experiment with different products and dosages to find what works best for you, but these general dosing tips will help you get started on the right foot to find the perfect CBD dose.
The best time to take CBD products
While there are no proven extremely adverse side effects to taking CBD products, it is important to pay attention to how you feel when taking them. CBD can cause minor side effects (especially for first-time users) that will affect the right time to take CBD products.
For example, one of the most common side effects of CBD use is a slight feeling of fatigue. This means that you may want to take CBD products in the evening an hour or two before bed to avoid feeling overly drowsy during daytime activities you need to be alert for.
If you experience nausea or stomach upset when taking CBD, it's best to take it with meals or snacks to help settle your stomach. CBD can also sometimes cause diarrhea, so if you are susceptible to this side effect, it is best to take CBD products with food.
If you are looking for all-day relief from anxiety or pain, it may be best to take CBD in smaller doses throughout the day. This will help maintain steady blood levels of CBD in your system and avoid any peaks and valleys that could cause unwanted side effects.
If you are using a CBD product made from a sativa hemp strain, it may be best to take it in the morning or early afternoon as it can boost energy. If you are using an indica hemp strain product, it may be best to take it in the evening as it can have more relaxing and soothing effects.
Other considerations for CBD dosing time
Those seeking general wellness relief for chronic conditions will find that taking CBD at the same time every day will provide the most consistent results. However, not everyone takes CBD products for the same reasons. In some cases, folks choose to use CBD in situation-specific instances such as:
- After intense exercise to help with muscle recovery and reduce inflammation
- Before public speaking engagements to relieve social anxiety
- In the middle of the night to help with insomnia
- During stressful times at work to help calm down and relax
- In the morning to overcome fatigue and tiredness
In these instances, consumers may find that the best time to take CBD isn't necessarily at the same time every day but rather when they need it most.
Remember that not all CBD products activate the endocannabinoid system at the same rate. For example, if you prefer edibles, you may want to take them an hour or two before exercise to get the full effects before pain or inflammation kicks in. Alternatively, if you struggle with insomnia, it may be best to take CBD oil or vape CBD liquid as it is faster and can provide relief in as little as 15 minutes.
Full-spectrum vs. Broad-spectrum vs. Isolate
CBD products come in three varieties: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Each one has its own benefits and the best time to take them. By understanding the chemical constituents of each, you can better determine how and when to take them for the best results.
Full-spectrum CBD products
Full-spectrum products are thought to provide the most complete relief as all of the cannabinoids work together in a process called the entourage effect. They are made from a whole hemp plant extract, with all of the plant’s natural compounds including cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytonutrients. Full-spectrum CBD products also contain trace amounts of THC (less than 1mg per bottle).
These trace amounts of THC shouldn't be enough to cause a euphoric high, but if you are sensitive to THC compounds, be aware that full-spectrum CBD oil products may be best taken at night rather than in the daytime when you need to be the most alert.
Broad-spectrum CBD products
Products made with broad-spectrum are basically the same type of CBD product as full-spectrum, but they have had all traces of THC removed utilizing a process called chromatography. This leaves all other beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and phytonutrients behind for maximum relief.
Broad-spectrum CBD products are ideal for those who want to avoid any THC compound in their system but still benefit from the entourage effect. These products can be taken at any time of the day without worrying about THC-related side effects. Though, depending on your sensitivity to other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBDa, or CBC, you may find that broad-spectrum CBD products have more of a sedative effect and are best taken at night.
CBD isolate products
CBD isolate products are made from CBD that has been isolated from all other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and phytonutrients. This leaves only the cannabidiol compound, which can provide relief for specific issues without the other compounds in CBD products interfering with their effectiveness.
CBD isolate products are best taken at times when you want to experience relief without any sedative effects, such as in the middle of the day or before work. Additionally, if you suffer from anxiety when taking CBD, it may be best to avoid full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD products as the THC content, however small, can worsen anxiety symptoms.
How to recognise high-quality CBD products
To ensure that the dose you take is effective and safe, choosing high-quality CBD products from a trusted source is crucial. Choosing a product made with poor-quality ingredients or extraction methods can cause unwanted side effects, delay onset time, and make it difficult to determine the right dose.
When shopping for CBD products, always look for those that are:
- Made with organic ingredients
- Third-party lab tested for purity and potency
- Free of additives, preservatives, and fillers
- Packaged in dark glass bottles or jars (this helps to preserve freshness)
- Manufactured with a solvent-free extraction method (preferably CO2)
By understanding what to look for in a quality CBD product, you can ensure that you are getting the most effective dosage possible and experiencing the full benefits of CBD - no matter when you take it.
We recommend buying CBD oil products from Blessed CBD, our recommended partner in our CBD shop (chosen best CBD oil and best CBD gummies in the UK).
Get the benefits of CBD when you need it most
Getting CBD benefits when you need them most has never been easier than with high-quality CBD products. Choosing a product made from organic, lab-tested ingredients that use a solvent-free extraction method ensures that you are getting the best relief possible and can enjoy the benefits of CBD without the worry of unwanted side effects or complications.
And by taking CBD products at the right time of day, you can maximize their effectiveness when you need them most. Full-spectrum CBD products are best taken at night, while broad-spectrum CBD products and CBD isolates can be taken at any time during the day or night.
Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to taking CBD. The best time to take CBD depends on the CBD product type, personal preferences, and specific conditions. Be sure to experiment to find what works best for you and discontinue use or lower your dose should you experience any unwanted side effects.
4. Blessed CBD:
Available in UK (https://blessedcbd.co.uk),
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